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Old 07-16-2006, 02:11 AM   #1
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Bitterness in my Bolognese sauce

What can I do to salvage 1/2 gal of Bolognese sauce that has a distinctly bitter taste? I've read that some people use sugar to calm the bitterness. What quantity should be used for this quantity sauce?
Is there anything beside sugar that can accomplish this? - we don't generally like a sweet red sauce of any kind.

Thanks for help

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Old 07-16-2006, 02:35 AM   #2
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hmm... what's the reason for that? Bad meat quality? I've never heard of bitter bolgnese....
you can also try maple syrup... that's not that sweet and adds a nuttily flavour...
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Old 07-16-2006, 03:26 AM   #3
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Can you post a recipe? That would help a lot. Off hand, I can think of the following things that may have caused it, but without seeing the recipe or the method you used it's hard to say:

1. Meat was bad
2. Garlic was burnt
3. Herbs were overcooked
4. Tomatoes were of poor quality
5. Tomato paste was burnt
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Old 07-16-2006, 05:09 AM   #4
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Maybe, you have let bay leaves after cooking in your sauce? That gives a bitter taste also.

Hard to say without knowing your recipe.

By the way, i would not suggest to add sugar to all the sauce. Add it just to a little quantity, so you will not make worse than better if that's not conclusive.
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Old 07-16-2006, 09:46 AM   #5
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One more possibility--the pan, either aluminum or cast iron.
Maybe just a little sugar and maybe add some shredded carrot and cook some more.
Would the sweetness of some balsamic help?
Maybe take out 2C and see how you can doctor it up.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:23 AM   #6
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Could it be that you are working with highly acidic tomatoes and you are tasting the sharpness of the tomatoes?
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:30 AM   #7
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I guess my problem is that I don't know what one means when he/she says bitter.

The definition I get is "having or being a taste that is sharp, acrid, and unpleasant."

If so there is nothing to do, IMHO, but toss the lot.

But that is not what people usually mean by the term bitter.

So guess I would have to know more about the off taste.

Sorry, that is all I can offer.
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Old 07-16-2006, 12:50 PM   #8
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Oregano is a very powerful herb after it's dried. If you are using more than 1 tsp. dried oregano to 2 quarts of sauce you could have an unpleasand, bitter aftertaste. Whatever you do don't use sugar. Are you using a highly acidic tomato? Try using San Marzano tomatoes available in two sizes of cans at several grocery stores, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and any good Italian deli with grocery section. Be sure they are San Marzano from Italy and not San Marzano STYLE from the States. There no way you can duplicate the taste of the Italian variety due to the special soil, sea air, and climate these are grown in. This tomato is mellow and slighty sweet and absolutely wonderful.

Maybe if you posted your recipe exactly including cooking time, we could figure out what your problem could be. And I would be inclined to agree that the material of the pot you are using could be a factor also. If you use a cast iron pot that isn't really well seasoned, you could wind up with a metallic, bitter taste.
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Old 07-16-2006, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke
What can I do to salvage 1/2 gal of Bolognese sauce that has a distinctly bitter taste? I've read that some people use sugar to calm the bitterness. What quantity should be used for this quantity sauce?
Is there anything beside sugar that can accomplish this? - we don't generally like a sweet red sauce of any kind.

Thanks for help
I've always added a pinch or so of sugar to the sauce. That doesn't necessarily (IMO) make it a 'sweet' sauce, but think it has more to do with the balance of flavors (acidity? of the tomatoes). Adding a smidge of sugar or cinnamon, might do the trick or a little red sweet wine. Can't give you quantitites, but just taste and add as you go.
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